Can I Install My Own Solar Panels? 5 Things to Consider First

September 09 2021

Worker in a hard hat and reflective vest installing solar panels on a roof

Can I install my own solar panels? We get asked this question over and over.

The short answer is: yes! However, it’s not really that simple.

DIY solar panels may sound like sweet relief for your wallet, but there are a few things to consider before you invest in a home solar kit. Learn more about the differences between installing solar panels yourself and hiring a solar installer.

Get the full picture to determine the best option for you and your home. Compare pricing and get a better understanding of the average cost to install solar panels here.

How Do DIY Solar Panels Work?

Solar is more affordable now than ever, but that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. Many homeowners consider a do-it-yourself approach in hopes of saving some money.

So, can I install my own solar panels? How exactly do DIY solar panels work?

Sure you can. First, you’ll have to design and size your system. This means figuring out your energy consumption, deciding which panels you need, and determining how many solar panels it’ll take to produce enough electricity to power your home.

Once that’s done, you’ll purchase your solar equipment. This includes panels, inverters, racking, and installation tools. There are pre-made solar kits available to make this easier (though it eliminates your control in choosing the most efficient parts).

After you have the parts, you can install the racking or mounts for your panels. Then, connect the panels to the equipment. Lastly, install a solar inverter.

5 Things to Consider Before Installing Solar Panels Yourself

DIY might sound like a good option, but there are some things you should know before you commit. Review the five common questions below to make an informed decision.

1. Can I Install My Own Solar Panels?

So, can I install my own solar panels?

Yes, you can. Home solar kits are available with all the parts you need. You’ll likely need to purchase additional tools and equipment to get the job done, though. You’ll also want to get some people to help you if you plan on installing solar panels yourself.

2. Does DIY Actually Save You Money?

The number one reason homeowners choose to self-install solar panels is the cost. Everyone wants to save money on solar.

Solar panel installation costs account for about 10% of the overall cost of a residential solar system before tax incentives. Of course, this doesn’t include money for tools or the value of the time spent installing. It also doesn’t include differences in panel efficiency that may exist between DIY solar panels and professional solar panel installation.

In summary, DIY solar panels will save you some money, but probably not as much as you think. Compare solar installers before you decide. There are hundreds of options for high-quality solar companies. When you compare your options upfront, you’ll be able to find the best deal in your area.

3. Is a Home Solar Kit Easy to Install?

Installing solar panels yourself is possible, but it is not easy. In addition, there are not nearly as many options when it comes to home solar kits as there are when you go through solar installers.

There is a good deal of labor involved in solar panel installation and multiple people will likely need to be involved. Keep in mind that steep or slippery roofing also presents a dangerous situation. If you plan to install panels yourself, be sure to follow all necessary safety precautions and wear the proper PPE.

Future maintenance, troubleshooting, or panel replacement can also be a hassle for homeowners who install DIY solar panels. Many solar companies maintain a relationship with the homeowner for the duration of the system’s life, performing routine maintenance and solving any issues that arise.

If you choose the DIY route, these future problems are on you to fix. Some homeowners pay contractors to perform certain tasks in the future, but this minimizes the money saved by choosing DIY in the first place.

4. How Much Does Solar Panel Installation Cost?

About 10% of the price of a home solar system (before incentives are applied) is attributed to the solar panel installation cost. That means if your system is 16,000 before incentives, you may save $1,600 by installing solar panels yourself.

At face value, this may seem like a good chunk of money. However, it doesn’t account for additional money spent buying proper tools for solar panel installation. It also doesn’t reflect the fact that home solar kits sold are often not as high-quality as panels sold by solar installers, leading to lower efficiency and energy production.

Remember that solar is a long-term investment. Most panels last 25-30 years. It’s important to consider all factors regarding solar panel installation. $1,600 may seem like a lot of money now, but is it really that much in the long run?

5. What Are the Benefits of Hiring Solar Installers?

Solar installers offer many benefits that you just don’t get with DIY. For one, qualified solar companies are made up of professional experts. They can help guide you through the process of going solar, including things like helping you qualify and apply for certain tax incentives and rebates.

Solar installers can also ensure that you meet certain regulations and safety standards enforced by law in your area. They’ll also likely offer you a warranty in the event that anything goes wrong. They may even provide guidance on whether or not your roof is in good shape for panels, where you should place your panels, and which type of panels you need for the most success.

Solar energy production comes with many different moving parts. Don’t try to tackle solar panel installation yourself. Instead, turn to a professional solar installer. Learn more below.

Solar companies installing panels on the roof of a house

Finding the Right Installation Company

Long story short, while you technically can install panels yourself, you probably shouldn’t. The small savings on solar panel installation costs is not enough to offset the risks and negative aspects of performing the task yourself.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t save money. The best way to get the lowest solar panel installation cost is to compare your options before you choose. Compare pricing from qualified solar companies in your area before you commit.

Greenlife Solar is a free, online tool designed to help you do just that. Enter some information about your home and we’ll match you with pre-screened professional solar companies in your area. You’ll receive free quotes from each installer, helping you compare transparent pricing and information upfront.

Going green doesn’t have to be a hassle. Save time and money when you choose a qualified solar installer through Greenlife Solar. Click the button below to get started.

Compare Pricing From Top Solar Installers in Your Area.